Urinary bladder

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Urinary bladder
Illu urinary system.jpg
Urinary system.
Illu bladder.jpg
Latin vesica urinaria
Gray's subject #255 1227
Artery Superior vesical artery
Inferior vesical artery
Umbilical artery
Vaginal artery
Vein Vesical venous plexus
Nerve Vesical nervous plexus
Lymph external iliac lymph nodes, internal iliac lymph nodes
Precursor urogenital sinus
MeSH Bladder
Dorlands/Elsevier v_07/12855244

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Steven C. Campbell, M.D., Ph.D.


In anatomy, the urinary bladder is a hollow, muscular, and distensible (or elastic) organ that sits on the pelvic floor in mammals. It is the organ that collects urine excreted by the kidneys prior to disposal by urination. Urine enters the bladder via the ureters and exits via the urethra.

In males, the bladder is superior to the prostate, and separated from the rectum by the rectovesical excavation.

In females, the bladder is separated from the rectum by the rectouterine excavation, and it is separated from the uterus by the vesicouterine excavation.


  • Trigone of urinary bladder: The ureters enter the bladder diagonally from its dorsolateral floor in an area called the trigone, which is a triangular shaped area on the postero-inferior wall of the bladder. The urethra exits at the lowest point of the triangle of the trigone.
  • Apex: The Median umbilical ligament connects to the apex of the bladder.
  • Neck: The Neck is connected to the pubic bone by the pubovesical ligament in women, and by the puboprostatic ligament in men.


The wall of the urinary bladder consists of three layers:

Detrusor muscle

The detrusor muscle is a layer of the urinary bladder wall made of smooth muscle fibers arranged in spiral, longitudinal, and circular bundles. When the bladder is stretched, this signals the parasympathetic nervous system to contract the detrusor muscle. This encourages the bladder to expel urine through the urethra.

For the urine to exit the bladder, both the autonomically controlled internal sphincter and the voluntarily controlled external sphincter must be opened. Problems with these muscles can lead to incontinence.

The urinary bladder usually holds 400–620 mL of urine, but it can hold twice this without rupturing if, for example, the outflow is obstructed.

The desire to urinate usually starts when the bladder reaches around 75% of its working volume. If the subject is distracted the desire can fade and return with more urgency as the bladder continues to fill.

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